About Steven Netcoh

Steven Netcoh is a Postdoctoral Associate with the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) at The University of Vermont. His work primarily focuses on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL).

“What Do You Mean by ‘Personalized Learning?’

If you work in the field of education, you’re probably familiar with the term “personalized learning.” It’s all the buzz right now. Schools across the United States are talking about personalization and putting various forms of personalized learning into practice to meet their students’ diverse needs. Although educators across the country are using the terms “personalization” and “personalized learning,” there is little consensus about what these words mean or what types of practices they describe. This brief post will consider just a few conceptions of personalized learning that have been put forth in the literature on this approach to education.   Continue reading

The Strengths and Limitations of Human Capital Theory in Educational Research and Policymaking


       Human capital theory (HCT) is one of the most commonly used economic frameworks in educational research and policymaking. In this short post, I briefly describe the HCT framework and explore its strengths and limitations in educational research and policymaking. Continue reading

Personalized Learning and Questions of Equity

Can an education system built around personalized learning produce more equitable outcomes than the current model of schooling? This question has been rattling in my head during the past few weeks as I continue to explore the movement toward personalization, which seems to be gaining at least some momentum in recent years with an increasing number of schools and even states adopting more personalized approaches to education. My current state of residence, Vermont, is fully enmeshed in the personalization movement. In 2013, the state passed Act 77, which aims to provide students in Vermont with multiple and flexible pathways to high school graduation through increased access to work-based and blended learning opportunities, dual enrollment, and early college. It also requires all students in grades 7-12 to have a personalized learning plan (PLP) by the 2018-19 school year. Paired with the state’s Education Quality Standards, which mandates that high schools develop proficiency-based rather than “seat time” graduation requirements by 2020, Act 77 aims to “move[s] Vermont’s public education system to a model based on personalization” (Vermont Agency of Education, n.d., p. 5). Continue reading